Wedding planners, Brexit marchers and a voyage on the good ship Titanic II

Planet Business: A week of unexpected comebacks

Buck Frexit in the 21st century. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP

Buck Frexit in the 21st century. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP


In numbers: Wedding trade


Number of wedding planners from around the world attending this week’s sold-out Engage! Luxury Wedding and Event Business Summit at Adare Manor in Co Limerick.

€70 million

Revenue that the overseas wedding market generates for Irish businesses, according to Fáilte Ireland. Wedding guests from overseas also generate an estimated €150 million in spending while they’re here.


The “investment to attend” the summit is costing the luxury event professionals up to this much. Though, to be fair, it does include a “dessert party” in which like-minded wedding planners can “meet up to share experiences over a lavish parade of sweets and confections”.

Image of the week: Buck Frexit

A tale of two protest signs here as the plaintive “I’m 16… your vote, my future” and the polite wordplay of “Buck Frexit” appear side-by-side at last weekend’s anti-Brexit march in central London. The demonstration, said to be the biggest in the city since the anti-Iraq war protest of 2003, was otherwise marked by sunny weather, early 1990s dance music and thousands of luminous yellow “b*****ks to Brexit” stickers. In other words the atmosphere was substantially better than it was reported to have been at Tuesday’s meeting of the British cabinet, at which valiant efforts to avoid chaos from a no-deal Brexit inflamed pro-Brexit ministers, apparently leading to a mood that wasn’t so much sunny as it was “heated”. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP

The lexicon: Splinternet

The “splinternet” is what happens when the internet runs up against national and regional borders and stops being the global sphere that some of its early evangelists hoped it would be. The big digital border is likely to be – and some might say already is – between a Chinese-led internet and non-Chinese internet led by the US, as former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt recently put it, with the two divided by the “great firewall of China”. Concerns about the ramifications (both democratic and commercial) of a deeper “splinternet” come at an interesting time for Google, which recently confirmed for the first time the existence of Project Dragonfly, under which the tech giant has explored the idea of building search tools that would comply with Chinese authorities’ fondness for user monitoring and censorship.

Getting to know: Titanic II

The Titanic II is the long-term pet project of Australian mining magnate and conservative politician Clive Palmer, who this week revealed that work on his Blue Star Line company’s full-size replica of the Titanic is resuming. The unconfirmed rumours are that billionaire Palmer wants his sequel of an ocean liner to set sail from Southampton in 2022, some 110 years after its ill-fated predecessor. According to a tweet by Time magazine, it will “follow the same route as the original”, which is going a touch overboard, though on closer examination it does actually intend to deliver all of its passengers to New York this time. Start replenishing your period costume wardrobes now and not to worry if the only available tickets are third class – climate change will have melted all the icebergs soon anyway.

The list: 1990s fashion revivals

These aren’t the smoothest of times for clothing retailers, which might explain why some of them are harking back to the glory days of the 1990s for their next big trend.

1. Dr Martens: Its boots last had a big fashion hurrah during the early 1990s, but this week the company that makes them said sales were up 20 per cent thanks to some recent celebrity endorsements.

2. Corduroy: Like Dr Martens, corduroy peaks every 20 years or so.

3. Thongs: Department store John Lewis this week attributed a surge in sales of stringy quasi-underwear to the reality show Love Island.

4. Scrunchies: The hair ties fell off a fashion cliff at some point, but in 2018 they have the double-backing of both Claire’s Accessories and the catwalk crowd.

5. Velvet: It’s never really left Marks & Spencer, but now the grunge-era fabric is occupying space on every shop’s rails.